Cybersecurity specialists — often known as information technology (IT) security specialists or network security specialists, among other related job titles — play a critical role in protecting the information systems of corporations and other organizations from cyberattacks.
Traditionally, network operations and information technology specialists and teams handled the most critical technology tasks. However, because our world has become so reliant on technological technology for virtually everything, the stakes are higher than they have ever been.
As a result, cybersecurity specialists and their IT security colleagues have become critical to all organizations, working both on the front lines and behind the scenes to protect digital systems and assets from hackers, threats, and vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity specialists and their IT security colleagues are now considered essential to all organizations.
Cybersecurity Specialist Salaries
In the cybersecurity specialist job description, salary estimations can vary depending on the methodology used to collect data and since salary amounts are frequently updated on the fly based on changing information.
Listed below are some current cybersecurity specialist pay snapshots compiled from prominent online employment and cybersecurity job search websites:
How are Cybersecurity specialist salaries determined?
Education and professional experience
Education is an important component of a cybersecurity specialist’s résumé, and it will have an impact on how much money a cyber security specialist makes.
A cyber security specialist’s role is crucial to a corporation since they are responsible for data loss prevention and data protection in general, security incidents, risk assessment, and defending against digital attacks. A guarantee from an employer that their specialists know what they’re doing in the form of at least a bachelor’s degree in computer security or a similar discipline is preferred by most employers. Computer science, data administration, network administration, and other related fields are examples of such fields.
A bachelor’s degree may be required to apply for entry-level work in the information technology security industry. Still, you shouldn’t be concerned about acquiring a master’s degree in the meantime. According to the survey, only 23% of tech employees with a master’s degree or more feel that their advanced degrees helped them earn greater earnings.
In comparison, even if you are just starting in your cyber security profession, it is always beneficial to have some experience level. Your starting wage will be lower if you don’t have a lot of previous work experience. The more you improve your abilities and gather information (both theoretical and practical), the more likely it is that your superiors will consider giving you a raise.
Job titles in the information technology business are typically classified as ‘junior’ or ‘senior’ based on years of experience. A junior security analyst will likely earn less than a senior security analyst, even though their job descriptions are nearly identical.
The nature of the industry
Even though this essay is mostly focused on the information technology industry, the truth is that a person can find employment in information technology in a variety of different industries. No matter what type of business a firm is in, computer security is critical to its success.
Among the industries that pay the highest average salaries for information technology professionals (including cybersecurity professionals), the aerospace and defense, communications, public relations, advertising, pharmaceutical, medical, biotech, government (military and homeland security), system and VAR integration and other industries are among the top payers. There is a greater likelihood that the same IT job position will earn more money than in other areas in these businesses.
The size and revenue of the company
Additionally, the size of the business and how profitable it is are considered when estimating average salaries. In principle, finding employment with a relatively small firm (less than 100 or, even better, fewer than 50 employees) that generates a significant income would be an excellent alternative. Your pay as a cybersecurity professional would almost certainly be higher than the industry average.
On the other hand, a tiny company will never be able to generate as much profit as a large organization, no matter how successful it is.
There’s a problem with big organizations since they have hundreds of thousands of people, if not tens of thousands of employees worldwide. They can do this because they can provide lower starting pay than their smaller competitors. Companies such as Google, Cisco, Amazon, and other businesses do not pay well for cybersecurity specialists when they first start.
Once you have accumulated sufficient experience and have achieved senior rank within one of these conglomerates, your annual compensation will be higher than that of other organizations. Not to mention that some of them, like Google, also provide its employees with stock options in the firm, which they may cash in at any time they choose.
The location of the company
The information technology industry has a distinct advantage in this age of working from home and social isolation. Most technical experts can work from home without encountering any difficulties as long as they have a reliable internet connection. The remote information technology job is slowly but steadily becoming the norm.
While it is not critical where you work as an employee, the location of your company will have an impact on the amount of money you earn. A tech job in Washington, DC, will not pay the same as a job in San Francisco, CA, of the same sort and experience level. In fact, because of Silicon Valley, which is arguably the worldwide heart of technology, the average tech salary in the San Francisco area is the highest.
As of 2019, the average IT worker earned $145k per year in San Francisco, $138k in Seattle, $133k in New York, $117k in Denver and ‘just’ $113k in San Diego, according to PayScale.
So, how much money will a cyber-security specialist make in the real world? This is a difficult question to answer. Several factors determine the typical salary for this physically hard job. It is directly related to an individual’s level of education and experience. If you’re interested in working for major, well-known corporations, consider that your initial compensation will be quite low until you progress through the ranks.
It is important to note that not every region of the United States has the same average income, which should be considered. (Don’t forget to consider the cost of living in various parts of the country.)
Finally, the position of a cyber security professional is merely the beginning of a long and fruitful journey. Suppose you put in the effort, receive computer security training, work well with your team, and demonstrate that you are a valuable asset to your company. In that case, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to earn a six-figure income in the future.